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Sep 25, 2023

Company owner dodges breach of contract suit

Where the CEO of the corporate defendant only acted for the benefit of the corporation, there were insufficient allegations to pierce the corporate veil and hold him personally responsible for the company’s alleged breach of contract. Background According to the allegations in the complaint, in 2018, Shandong Reltex Leihua Co. Ltd entered into a warehousing […]

Sep 19, 2023

Enforceable arbitration clause in construction contract

Where the parties’ construction contract unambiguously provided that the American Arbitration Association’s rules applied in the event of a dispute, the trial court erred by deciding which of appellants’ claims were subject to arbitration. The AAA rules provide that the arbitrator determines arbitrability. Arbitration rules “Because the contract contains an enforceable arbitration clause t[...]

Reaching agreement
Sep 18, 2023

Contingency agreement not basis for fee award

A federal court awarded attorneys’ fees to plaintiff’s counsel in a case stemming from a disagreement between two attorneys.

Frustrated woman talking on phone
Sep 18, 2023

No private action against bank for failure to prevent elder exploitation

An elderly woman scammed out of more than $130,000 has no private cause of action under federal and state laws that impose a permissive duty to deny or report transactions that it may suspect are elder financial exploitation, the Court of Appeals of Virginia has held.

Sep 11, 2023

Contingent fee arrangement doesn’t control fee award

Although the plaintiffs argued the contingency fee to which they agreed in their retainer agreement should control, the court instead awarded attorney’s fees to the prevailing party based upon his reasonable hours and the prevailing rate. Background This civil action originated from an arrangement between two lawyers, Thomas Lankford and John C. West Jr., who […]

Sep 11, 2023

Company’s effort to vacate default judgment fails

Where a default judgment was entered against a company that failed to timely respond to a complaint, its motion to vacate the default judgment, filed more than 10 months later, was denied. The defaulting party failed to show improper service or excusable neglect. Background Plaintiff, the Board of Trustees of the Sheet Metal Workers’ National […]

Sep 7, 2023

Lender granted default judgment

Where a borrower and guarantor failed to respond to the lender’s breach of contract suit, they are liable for a total of $121,520.99 in damages, plus post-judgment interest and $34,352.15 in attorney’s fees. Background Before the court is Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance LLC’s motion for default judgment against Shore Saw & Mower Inc. and […]

Sep 6, 2023

Guarantor liable for $160K judgment

Where a trash collection company failed to make required payments under an equipment financing agreement, and its guarantor failed to respond to the lender’s lawsuit alleging breach of contract, judgment was entered for a total of $156,987.72, plus attorney’s fees. Background This is a breach-of-contract debt collection case. Regions Bank filed its complaint on April […]

Sep 6, 2023

No duty to reverse fraudulent wire transfer

Where appellee was scammed for $134,500, the credit union that made wire transfers to the scammer had no duty to prevent the transfers. The circuit court’s decision in this case is reversed. Overview Appellee Lentz was a 74-year-old woman who was her husband’s care provider when a “scammer convinced Lentz to make two transfers, on […]

Aug 30, 2023

Counterclaim for unpaid rent dismissed

Where the parties disputed the terms of their lease agreement concerning the payment of rent, the trial court considered the testimony and trial exhibits, and correctly credited the lessee’s version. Overview Following a rent dispute, Taj Corporation and Shahjahan Mia (Mia) sued Twenty-Third Street after being evicted. Twenty-Third Street responded with a counterclaim alleging Mia […]

Aug 30, 2023

Tenant awarded damages for lost water service

Where a landlord was responsible for maintaining water service to a rental unit and service was cut off when she did not pay the bill, a damage award of $5,040.94 to the tenant cannot be reviewed on appeal. The landlord did not provide a transcript or written statement of facts of the relevant proceedings. Analysis […]

Aug 21, 2023

Ex-wife entitled to life insurance proceeds

A postnuptial property separation didn’t clearly indicate that a widow’s ex-spouse intended to remove her beneficiary status from a $300,000 life insurance policy before his death, the Western District of Virginia has held.

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